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  1. #1

    Question Vintage Johnson Evinrude Selectric Controls Throttle Control Box - No Neutral

    Hey there,

    My brother bought a used bass boat with an old 1988 (I think ...pic below) Evinrude 85 HP outboard motor. It works fine, but the control box doesn't shift into Neutral. It will stay in the forward gear when we press the neutral button. Both forward and reverse gears function properly. It's just when we try to do neutral that it still wants to act as if it's in forward gear.

    When we start the motor we have to kick way back from the dock because we will have to hit the "neutral" button, but since it acts as if it's in forward gear, we will propel forward.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Any thoughts or guidance on things to try? I can't imagine that it's good for the motor to constantly be in Forward or Reverse, but then again we are new to this.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    20,491

    Default Re: Vintage Johnson Evinrude Selectric Controls Throttle Control Box - No Neutral

    A 1988 motor is non sense.----The last year those electric shift motors were marketed is 1972.----When the motor is NOT RUNNING it will be in forward gear.-----Motor has to run to make the oil pump in the lower unit provide oil pressure for shifting.----You did check for oil in the lower unit ?----It takes TYPE C oil for electric shift.-----Find the shift wires at the back of the motor.-------Make sure green is connected to green and blue is connected to blue.
    Last edited by racerone; 09-28-2020 at 07:58 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Vintage Johnson Evinrude Selectric Controls Throttle Control Box - No Neutral

    Quote Originally Posted by racerone View Post
    A 1988 motor is non sense.----The last year those electric shift motors were marketed is 1972.----When the motor is NOT RUNNING it will be in forward gear.-----Motor has to run to make the oil pump in the lower unit provide oil pressure for shifting.----You did check for oil in the lower unit ?----It takes TYPE C oil for electric shift.-----Find the shift wires at the back of the motor.-------Make sure green is connected to green and blue is connected to blue.
    My apologies. The boat is an 88. The Evinrude is a 1972 85hp Outboard. Thank you for the tips. I get the concept for the motor running to provide the oil pressure for the shifting. The lower unit does have oil. I will check the shift wires on the motor next. Thank you for the suggestion.

    Also, to clarify, we have to press the neutral button in order to start the motor. It's not really in neutral though as it propels forward. I guess it registers that the button is pressed though to allow it to start.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    3,019

    Default Re: Vintage Johnson Evinrude Selectric Controls Throttle Control Box - No Neutral

    Use a jumper wire to connect the mentioned green wire directly to battery + terminal (motor running). Should go into neutral. If it does, the problem is in the wiring or push button switch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3,019

    Default Re: Vintage Johnson Evinrude Selectric Controls Throttle Control Box - No Neutral

    Quote Originally Posted by Keper View Post
    My apologies. The boat is an 88. The Evinrude is a 1972 85hp Outboard. Thank you for the tips. I get the concept for the motor running to provide the oil pressure for the shifting. The lower unit does have oil. I will check the shift wires on the motor next. Thank you for the suggestion.

    Also, to clarify, we have to press the neutral button in order to start the motor. It's not really in neutral though as it propels forward. I guess it registers that the button is pressed though to allow it to start.

    Not really. The neutral button serves two separate unrelated functions

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    20,491

    Default Re: Vintage Johnson Evinrude Selectric Controls Throttle Control Box - No Neutral

    Find the shift wires at the back of the powerhead.----Switch them and test run.

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